Environmental Entrepreneurs’ (E2) recently released report on clean energy job creation in the first quarter of 2012 notes that 46,000 jobs in clean energy could be on America’s horizon if all announcements reach their potential. North Carolina, ranked number eight on the list of states where clean energy jobs were announced, could see nearly 2,300 of those jobs.
In addition to making the top-ten list for job creation in the industry, North Carolina was one of only four top-ten states that currently has clean energy projects in operation and was ranked number two for projects in progress.
On April 17, the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) announced O2 energies, a solar development company based in Charlotte, is working with Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management to build Sandy Cross Solar Farm. The solar array is being constructed on a family-owned soybean farm and will supply energy through the utility grid to the local community, including a neighboring vineyard. The electricity generated will be enough to power more than 150 typical homes and will be sold to Progress Energy through a power purchase agreement.
“The Sandy Cross Solar farm will not only generate clean electricity for local residents but will increase the local tax base, generate work in Nash County and educational opportunities for workers and students,” said O2 Energies Managing Director Olee Joel Olsen Jr., in the release.
NCSEA released a 32-page report in March regarding the 2011 cost competitiveness—or grid parity—of solar energy in comparison to retail electricity prices in North Carolina. “Solar electricity continues to improve in efficiency and cost as a viable energy resource well into the future,” said Miriam Makhyoun, the study’s primary author and NCSEA’s Solar & Renewable Energy Industry Specialist.
According to an article in The Triad Business Journal, Mark David, a High Point furniture manufacturer, celebrated a ribbon cutting on its new solar power system on April 17. The article reported that the solar cells will generate 89.6 kilowatts of electricity for the furniture factory.
“We were happy to learn that we could use a small amount of space to create a substantial amount of power,” said Roger Wilson, President of Mark David, in the article. “We’re proud to be one of the first manufacturing sites in the area to have a solar farm.”
North Carolina’s strong commitment to developing and growing a green energy economy led to its development of the first and only Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard in the Southeast. That, along with some of the best tax credits for renewable energy in the nation, has helped N.C. assume a leadership position in the industry, paving the way for broader generation and use of clean energy in the state.
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